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1 in 250 construction workers will suffer fatal injuries from welding over a working lifetime.(Source: Industrial Safety & Hygiene News).
An average of 4,630 structure fires involving hot work occur every year.(Source: National Fire Protection Association).
Hot work is any work that involves burning, welding, cutting, brazing, soldering, grinding, using fire- or spark-producing tools, and any other work that produces any source of ignition. Hot work procedures may produce sparks, fire, molten slag, or hot material that has a potential to cause fires or explosions.
Hot work permits identify several pieces of information such as the work that is to be done, who is to perform it, the length of time it will take, the hazards associated with the work, and the control measures used. As a whole, it confirms that the area has been cleared for hot work and, if control measures are implemented, that it is safe to begin work in that area.
Hot work permits are valid for one day only and are restricted to one area. They should be posted in the area of hot work for the duration of the procedures. A copy of every permit should be kept on file by the designated supervisor for at least six months.
Fire watch is a measure put in place to help detect early signs of unwanted incidents such as fire breakout. Those assigned to fire watch are responsible for attentively surveying the area where hot work is being conducted and identifying and controlling any hazards that are present.
Just as hot work permits need to be completed prior to commencing any hot work tasks, they also need to be properly closed out after the hot work is completed. The area must be picked up and tools need to be put away. In addition, a fire watch should remain on the site for at least 30 minutes following hot work to ensure that no fires break out.